Suicide attempts and perceived social support among Chinese drug users: The mediating role of self-esteem and depression

Yali Deng, Xuemeng Li, Liu Liu, Wing Hong Chui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Suicidal behavior is a severe problem among drug users. This study examines influential factors related to suicide attempts and analyzes possible mediators of the relationship between perceived social support and suicide attempts amongst Chinese drug users under compulsory institutional drug treatment. Taking perceived social support as the independent variable, we found that the relationship between suicide attempts and perceived social support is mediated by self-esteem as a protective factor and depression as a risk factor. Path analysis shows that self-esteem contributes relatively more to the indirect effects than depression does, accounting for 31.1% and 24.2% of the total effect, respectively. Generally speaking, the findings of this study point to an urgent need for addressing suicide attempts among Chinese drug users while treating self-esteem as the protective factor that deserves as substantial attention as depression receives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese drug users
  • Depression
  • Perceived social support
  • Self-esteem
  • Suicide attempts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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